Alcohol use and intimate partner violence as predictors of separation among U.S. couples: A longitudinal model

Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between partner violence (male-to-female and female-to-male) and heavy drinking (consuming five or more drinks per occasion) and the effect of this relationship on marital separation. Method: Married and cohabiting couples were selected through multistage random probability sampling from U.S. households. In 1995, 1,635 couples were interviewed; 1,392 of these couples were re-interviewed in 2000. The final analysis included couples who were still married or living with the same partner (intact n = 1,136) from the baseline, and couples who had broken up (nonintact n = 191) sometime during the 5-year follow-up period. Results: The findings indicate that couples who reported female-perpetrated violence, female alcohol-related problems and male heavy-drinking episodes (one to three times a month) were 2.5-3 times more at risk for separation. On the other hand, female heavy drinking (one to three times a month) is less likely to predict separation. Cohabiting couples are also more at risk for separation than married couples. Couples with longer relationships are less at risk for separation. Conclusions: Marital counseling, therapy or intervention programs must address issues pertaining to partner violence and alcohol use among couples while concurrently providing information about healthy relationships and helping couples develop skills to attain them. The importance of preventing partner violence is increasingly recognized in the field of public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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